Upon receiving Royal Assent and coming into force, federal Bill S-201 would prohibit employers from requiring employees to undergo a genetic test or disclose the results of a genetic test. Bill S-201 would also prohibit discrimination on the ground of genetic characteristics.
Bill S-201 includes broad prohibitions against requiring genetic testing as a condition of providing goods or services, entering into contracts or continuing a contract, or entering into or continuing specific provisions in a contract. Limited exceptions would apply to healthcare practitioners and researchers.
Employers should note that, as per Bill S-201, every person who requires an individual to undergo a genetic test as (a) a condition of providing goods or services to that individual, (b) entering into or continuing a contract or agreement with that individual, or (c) offering or continuing specific terms or conditions in a contract or agreement with that individual, would be liable for fines of up to $1,000,000 upon conviction on indictment or up to $300,000 on a summary conviction, to imprisonment, or both.
Concerns have been raised regarding the constitutionality of this bill. Once it receives Royal Assent, Bill S-201 will likely be referred to the Supreme Court of Canada.